Greg Garrett mug

Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett

The city of Tehachapi is currently processing the COVID-19 funding it received from the federal government, which supplied Kern County with $157 million. Of this, $20 million was carved out for the cities located within the county, Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett told Tehachapi News.

"The city of Tehachapi will receive about $411,000. We are looking for approval of that to defer some costs that are associated with COVID-19," Garrett said during a weekly interview.

The monies will assist the city in purchasing broadcasting equipment, safety equipment and face shields.

As the city moves deeper into Stage 3 of reopening businesses, Garrett said he was excited to see local proprietors starting to welcome patrons indoors.

"We are doing everything we can to promote their efforts and assist them in any way," Garrett said. "We continue to work with them in the grant programs and forgivable loans. We are getting positive vibes as things reopen."

With the recent announcements that some nonprofits will not host annual events this year, such as Cheers to Charity and the Thunder on the Mountain Car Show, Garrett said he supports their decisions and willingness to adhere to state guidelines.

"It does make me sad that events are canceled or deferred because they were great resources for nonprofits, but it is their decision to make, so we move forward," the city manager said.

With the cancellation of the 4th of July festivities, except for the fireworks, Garrett said, "It didn't seem right to celebrate our freedom when we are not free at this moment in time."

The real question on everyone's mind is if confirmed coronavirus cases surge once businesses reopen, will the state mandate a rollback on reopenings.

Said Garrett, "We are seeing a spike in the number of positive cases, but in my mind, that is absolutely expected because they are offering more testing and they are pushing the testing. Obviously, you are going to see more cases."

According to Garrett, Kern County, along with other counties, is on a watch list for certain criteria concerning the uptick in the number of confirmed cases.

Said Garrett, "I think it would be very difficult to wind things backwards and ask (businesses) to close again. I don't think that is likely."

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